By Jerome Lagunzad
Thai coach Anusorn “Tai” Bundit is here to stay at the Ateneo Lady Eagles’ camp.
Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, on Monday put to rest any speculation that Bundit won’t be at the helm when the Lady Eagles set out for another title quest in UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball in February.
“I would like to inform everyone that coach Tai is still with the team,” said Villarin through his Facebook account.
Bundit, who steered the Lady Eagles to back-to-back UAAP crowns, including an impressive 16-0 sweep in 2015, hogged the headlines over the weekend when he was reportedly given the pink slip by Ateneo athletic director Em Fernandez after conducting the team’s training session last Friday.
“‘Okay, today (Friday) is your last day. (On) Monday, don’t train anymore,’” was the strong message given by Fernandez that stunned Bundit, according to longtime Lady Eagles benefactor Tony Boy Liao.
“Nagulat talaga siya (Bundit). Hindi niya rin matanong kung bakit kasi nga dahil sa communication barrier,” added Liao. “Sabi niya (Bundit), ‘Okay, kung ‘yan ang gusto niya, I will not go to the training anymore on Monday.’”
While Bundit is seen as the driving force behind the success of the Lady Eagles’ volleyball program underscored by repeated trips to the UAAP finals in the last four years, some players are crying foul over the Thai mentor’s “Spartan-like” training.
Villarin is hoping he could help Bundit and the Lady Eagles sort things out—at the soonest possible time.
“I appeal to your patience and understanding as we try to resolve these internal issues. I also appeal to your better sense to refrain from any speculation or spreading falsehood that may besmirch the reputation of our fine players, our good coach, and our school,” he said.
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